preferred sight style


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checkmyswag
July 29, 2012, 01:29 PM
What are the quickest sights to pick up?

Is the typical 3-dot sight on guns like M&P pistols set up for precision, speed or of compromise of the two?

I've seen front fiber optic sights, with a blacked out rear sight. Fiber optic with red or green in front and the opposite in the back, night sights which are typically 3-dot style and the big dot style.

So...why do manufacturers use the sights they do and what do you prefer to replace them with and why?

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rcmodel
July 29, 2012, 02:51 PM
I have a NRA Bullseye competition background, and I prefer glare free all black sights.

I despise white dots, white outlines, and red ramps.

I prefer Meprolite or Trijacon night sights on my serious guns.

Most of the combat grade guns sold today are set up for speed and lowest cost sights, not accuracy.

If it was for accuracy, they would all come with windage & elevation adjustable sights.
And they don't.

rc

Inebriated
July 29, 2012, 03:10 PM
The quickest (for me, and I'm sure several others) is a blacked out rear, and a dot in the front.

jfrey
July 29, 2012, 03:11 PM
Aside from an occassional red fiber optic front sight, I prefer all my sights to be plain black, both front and rear. It's easier for me to see. I really don't like 3 dot sights either.

FMF Doc
July 29, 2012, 03:12 PM
I grew up shooting black ramped DA revolvers. I learned to do ok. Then the military taught me to shoot semiautos with 3 dot. I liked that better. I think it is the best mix between speed and precission. Th "U" & dot from glock isn't too bad either, but I usually replace them with 3 dot in time.

basicblur
July 29, 2012, 03:36 PM
I think 'bout every gun I have (other than .22's) had SD as the priority.
As such, while I don't have them on all of them, I have Trijicon 3-dot sights on my bed gun and most often carried guns.

I see nothing wrong with the old 3-dot style, and Trijicons seem to be better quality (sharper) than some I've seen.

Next time I need some night sights, I might be tempeted to give Speed Sights (http://www.speedsights.com/) a try? These are the first of the latest / greatest that have piqued my interest.

I also don't care for adjustable sights on my SD guns. I prefer sights that are more compact, drift adjustable (makes 'em harder to knock outta whack), and prefer a flat front surface on the rear sights to assist in one-handed racking of slide (no Novak Low Mounts, etc).

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2012, 04:14 PM
What are the quickest sights to pick up? Is the typical 3-dot sight on guns like M&P pistols set up for precision, speed or of compromise of the two?
None of the above. 3-dot sights aren't faster to align and aren't precise in the way they are used

So...why do manufacturers use the sights they do and what do you prefer to replace them with and why?
They look at their target market and see what seems to be in highest demand, then they find the cheapest way to provide a similar looking sight

Selecting sights is an evolving process. I started with all black sights,went through the red ramp front and white outline rear, through various combinations of dot and bars and through the three dot offerings

Part of what you learn in this evolution is an understanding of how you perceive aligned sights...which is an evolution in itself. When you understand that picking up sights quickly...to shoot quickly and accurately...is a function of the subconscious mind, you'll understand why the 3-dot systems aren't faster. But they do make a lot of folks feel more in control...which is just as good for marketing.

I prefer a single dot on the front blade...either fiber optic, bead or nightsight lamp...mated to a plain black rear blade with a notch that lets plenty of light in on either side of the front blade (I prefer that the bottom of the notch be rounded rather than square). The front dot isn't used as a sighting point, it is just help the eye pickup the front blade sooner. Any dot on the rear sight just slows down the perception of the sights being aligned

rcmodel
July 29, 2012, 05:04 PM
Most all of the three dot sights in my junk collection were not properly aliened when the dots were aligned anyway.

rc

easyg
July 29, 2012, 05:31 PM
The quickest (for me, and I'm sure several others) is a blacked out rear, and a dot in the front.
Yep.

pat701
July 29, 2012, 06:16 PM
I like the Sig 2 dot combat for a pistol.

checkmyswag
July 29, 2012, 11:42 PM
I really like how the Trijicon HD sights look. The rear sights look mostly none functional in light. Almost a blacked out rear sight.

Speed of acquisition is far more important to me than precision.

Watch your lane.

Rock185
July 30, 2012, 12:14 AM
My preference in sights mirrors rcmodel's. Years ago an acquaintance did a mgazine article on some night sight testing he did. He tried both 3-dot and having the front night sight only, and plain/non-night sight rear. He determined that in low light conditions, the three dot was more accurate, but the single front dot/night sight was always quicker, though a bit less accurate,IIRC. I wonder if the same thing might occur during daylight with the Dot type sights. I have two pistols with fiber optic fronts. They glow real pretty during the day, but, for me, they are noticebly less precise than black sights. I do think the fiber optic fronts might be an advantage during fast daylight shooting, where precision is not of upmost importance, but have not personally verified this. I have alreday changed one of my pistols to a plain black serrated front, and will change the other when I get around to it...ymmv

ps, saw a new dark earth type color S&W M&P in a shop a few days ago with front and rear sights of a configuration I'd not seen before. Both front and rear had fiber optic dots on top, with tritium dots beneath. Made for an interesting sight picture. Course, i don't get to shops much, and I realize this may be the hottest, and /or coolest/"SWEETest"/most tactical sight now known to "Operators", and old news ;-)

Snag
July 30, 2012, 12:33 AM
The quickest (for me, and I'm sure several others) is a blacked out rear, and a dot in the front.

^^ This.

Dot's on the back bug me, actually dots anywhere bug me. I'd rather just have regular all black sights.

If I must have an illuminated sight I prefer the one vertical line in back with a dot in front like on the big dot sights. I think this style is probably the fastest for me to pick up at any time.

skt239
July 30, 2012, 06:51 AM
I find stock Sig sites are pretty quick once you get used to them. I personally prefer 3 dot trijicons.

Mr.510
July 30, 2012, 08:29 PM
I prefer three dot sights. They are the fastest for me to pick up and align, probably because they're all I've used for the last 25 years or so. My carry gun has Trijicon night sights with a green front lamp and yellow rears. I really like these sights and they line up for me like magic when it's dark. I live/work a swing shift schedule so at least half the time I'm awake it's pitch black outside. At Winter Solstice it's only daylight for about four hours of my day so low light performance is the #1 priority for my sights.

Plan2Live
July 30, 2012, 09:12 PM
I like the 3 dot system as long as it is large enough to see well. I do not like Trijicons. My experience with Trijicons is that by the time the room gets dark enough for me to see the glowing Trijicons I can't see what they are lining up on. During the day the Trijicons are so small they don't offer the same visibility as white 3 dots so I may as well have all black and pocket the $100.

The jury is still out on the Sig Dot-The-I sites. I don't have enough experience with those to form an opinion.

I have had a 2nd Generation S&W auto with blacked out sites since 1986 and cannot shoot that pistols as accurately as my XDm with 3 dots or my Sig 239 with Trijicons and both of those have shorter barrels and shorter sight radius.

The Front dot, rear U, let's just say, NOT perfection.

Shawn Dodson
July 30, 2012, 09:22 PM
I prefer XS Sight Systems 24/7 Big Dot tritium sights. Been using them for over a decade. I find them to be very quick to use. I have them on my Glock 19 and my Remington 870.

I don't like 3-dot sights. They're "too busy" visually, IMO.

Shawn Dodson
July 30, 2012, 09:56 PM
I just looked at the "Speed Sights" link posted by basicblur.

IMO they'd probably be great for precision (target) shooting. But as combat sights on a defense pistol where most defense shootings occur under 15 yards I don't see them as offering any genuine advantage. Personally I don't even focus on my sights under 15 yards and I land good hits. I use the "target focus" technique in which I focus on my aim point on the target where I want my bullet to land and I drive my front sight to the aim point. I don't focus on my front sight but I "see" it in "soft" focus (exactly the same way as when I point my finger at an object). As for sight alignment I see just the quality of sight alignment I need to get the hit - that is, sight alignment can be "sloppier" for close targets (under 15 yards). Beyond 15 yards then I revert to "front sight, press".

The contrast on the "Speed Sights" may be sharp when first installed but I imagine they'll experience holster wear and become less sharp with time, especially the sharp points at the top of the sights.

Sapper771
July 30, 2012, 10:10 PM
I prefer Warren Tactical sights on my Glocks. Blacked out rear with tritium front.

basicblur
July 30, 2012, 10:58 PM
I just looked at the "Speed Sights" link posted by basicblur.
IMO they'd probably be great for precision (target) shooting. But as combat sights on a defense pistol where most defense shootings occur under 15 yards I don't see them as offering any genuine advantage.
I know little / nothing about 'em - I've just heard some folks that went with Big Dots later lament the fact that they lost the ability for precision shots since the front dot covered a lot of the target (or sumpin' like that). I guess the theory with the Speed Sights is you have the big dots (diamonds) for fast sight acquisition, but for slower, precision work, you can use the tips of the diamonds.

Heck-it'll probably be 12 years or so before any of my Trijicons need replacing, so I'll probably never give 'em a try.

I don't focus on my front sight but I "see" it in "soft" focus...
The devil you say! Glad to hear somebody besides myself focuses on the target instead of the front sight.
Never really discussed it with my brother until recently, only to find he also focuses on the target - mebbe some of it has to do with DNA (or both of us having similar eyesight)?

I do have one of the 24/7 Tritium Stripe front sights on my HD AR-15 - got it matched up with a Troy Folding Battlesight rear with Tritium Inserts.
Love the front stripe, but if I had it to do over again, I think I'd skip the Tritium inserts on the rear AR sight.

Sheepdog1968
July 30, 2012, 11:07 PM
For pistols for self defense uses, I tried a bunch of stock and other systems before I settled on the XS big dot with shallow V rear.

For rifles if it's optics I prefer low power fixed sights with a simple thick crosshairs. For irons, I prefer a ghost ring rear and some contrasting colored front sight.

Shawn Dodson
July 30, 2012, 11:42 PM
I know little / nothing about 'em - I've just heard some folks that went with Big Dots later lament the fact that they lost the ability for precision shots since the front dot covered a lot of the target (or sumpin' like that).

These folks just need to read the freaking manual.

"Close range - 15 yards and in - Point of Impact within the Dot. Get a quick hit at normal defensive ranges by placing the full front dot on the intended point of impact.

"Extended range - 25 yards and out - Point of Impact Top of Dot [top of the front sight]. Allows for precise shot placement beyond normal defensive range."

see (scroll to bottom of page) - http://www.xssights.com/index.php?nID=sights&cID=Sights&pID=sights&sID=handgun

I follow the directions and I've never had a problem. 25 yards and beyond the front sight will never cover the aim point.

TestPilot
July 31, 2012, 03:20 AM
The best sight for me is the plain iron sights when visible.

The reason for the dots on the sights are when the outlines on the front and rear sights are not visible.

3 dot sights are good when you transition from the iron sight to the painted or illuminated dot system when the iron sights are not visible because the principle of alignment is the same.

For that reason I prefer 3 dot sights, because they're good as a supplemental sights for low light, NOT as a primary sights.

The other types which are mostly Von Stavenhagen or some variation of it are harder to align with precision.

I avoid any type of sight system that I have to cover my aim point at zeroed range. Not only is it a hinderance at distance, it's also a hinderance when hitting small target at close distance.

Quack
July 31, 2012, 07:26 AM
.140" 10-8 rear and a red .100" Dawson fiber front

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2

mgmorden
July 31, 2012, 10:01 AM
I prefer all-black sights. I can deal with a single FO dot up front, but every pistol I own with 3-dots has either had them replaced or at a minimum had a sharpie taken to the dots to black them out.

checkmyswag
July 31, 2012, 12:02 PM
or at a minimum had a sharpie taken to the dots to black them out.

Nice, didn't think about doing that, could black out the rear sights, might experiment with some electrical tape on them first

9mmepiphany
July 31, 2012, 12:22 PM
I think you'll find the sharpie works better that the tape...the edges of the tape will be distracting. I find a sharpie a good field fix...a quick fix on the range when you want to introduce someone to how much difference in speed and clarity the removal of rear dots/outlines make.

If you are doing it at home, I find it easier to use model paint...either water or oil based will work. I just blacked out the rear nightsights on my EMP a couple of weeks ago and it is holding up to use well. If you don't like it, you can just remove the paint with a solvent

checkmyswag
July 31, 2012, 03:17 PM
Very good idea.

I was all ready to get some Trijicon HDs but this might give me most of the results of new sights with none of the cost.

I'm mostly interested in self defense and IDPA shooting so I need a quick sight, not a precision sight.

Does the model paint hold up?

9mmepiphany
July 31, 2012, 03:31 PM
I've only shot 4 IDPA matches with it, but it seems to be pretty stable...building up the front dot was a bigger challenge

MoreIsLess
July 31, 2012, 03:36 PM
I have a Springfield 1911 with black sights on the front and back. I love the sights on it but sometimes I have trouble seeing front one. I thought I read on here that you can paint white out on the front sight and it will come off easily if you decide you don't like it, sell the gun, etc. Is that true?

basicblur
July 31, 2012, 05:05 PM
I thought I read on here that you can paint white out on the front sight and it will come off easily if you decide you don't like it, sell the gun, etc. Is that true?
No experience with any of this, but I've heard a number of folks claim White Out was tough to remove - they say steer clear of it.

Never tried this, but I've slugged through quite a few YouTube videos on highlighting engravings etc, and thought this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcLzaxqsOCE&list=PL2BCE9460A59C1BB3&index=19&feature=plpp_video) seems to be the most detailed / researched?

I've got all the stuff he recommends, but have yet to try it - I'm thinking 'bout highlighting some of the engraving on some of my magazines - it sure would make it a lot easier to grab the right mags outta my box o' magazines. Some of 'em are darn difficult to read / look an awful lot alike.

For less permanent / experimental / more easily removed, he recommends (quite a few folks seem to):
1. Nail polish.
2. Acetone Free nail polish remover.

hariph creek
July 31, 2012, 06:50 PM
I like XS Big Dot. But I only like tritium up front, prefer the plain white line on the rear.
They're fast and plenty accurate for SD.
I don't own any target guns. If I had target sights I'd have to admit it's me, and not the sights that limit me to "combat accuracy."

checkmyswag
July 31, 2012, 07:13 PM
building up the front dot was a bigger challenge

You built it up with more white paint or another color?

9mmepiphany
July 31, 2012, 10:17 PM
I did mine in yellow...Tamiya Insignia Yellow to be exact

1SOW
August 1, 2012, 12:37 AM
9mmepiphany: I prefer a single dot on the front blade...either fiber optic, bead or nightsight lamp...mated to a plain black rear blade with a notch that lets plenty of light in on either side of the front blade (I prefer that the bottom of the notch be rounded rather than square). The front dot isn't used as a sighting point, it is just help the eye pickup the front blade sooner. Any dot on the rear sight just slows down the perception of the sights being aligned

X10, for speed. Front sight, front sight, front sight.
As he said, distractions on the rear sight just slow me down. A simple fiber optic front is "faster" for me. I'm getting a little long in the tooth and the eyes aren't what they used to be.
One exception that does 'okay' for me, is a "dot-the-I" Sig sight. The small rear white verticle bar doesn't seem get in the way of seeing the front white dot. I still prefer a large plate black rear and F.O. front for quick follow-on and target transition shots.

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